This photo is from my Mother's collection and presumably from her Mothers, Rosaline Agnes, James and Sarah's tenth child.


Any Forrest family descendants reading this, comments welcome to



Credit for some of the information below to the Cambridge Museum.


Also recent contributions  from  Sally Waters and Brian Sutton


James, (age 24) and his brother Alfred  left Gravesend, England, on the 4th of July 1860 as assisted imigrants on the 811 ton Evening Star. They arrived in Dunedin on the 14th October 1860. As assisted imigrants they were expected to repay their fares.

James married Sarah Perkins at the Episcopal Church 15th Feb 1861 in Dunedin.  Initially he had worked with brother Alfred as a carpenter making mantelpieces.  He got into trouble wth a timber supplier who failed to supply and James using bad language ended up in court.  The case was subsequently dismissed with a warning.

He was more interested in agriculture and gained employment  with a Mr William Blackie.  He is said to have entered a plowing competition near Mosgiel  and came 6th out of the 14 competitors.  James and Sarah stayed around Dunedin until 1864 when they moved north to Auckland.  In 1866 they moved south to Cambridge where James enlisted in the 3rd Waikato Militia on the 14th of April 1866 as substitute soldier No 697.

At some stage they aquired land and James, having been born in Surrey called their new  farm 'Surrey Park' and for many years lived on their own products, bearing ups and downs with fortitude and cheerfulness.  In the Cambridge rates assessment list for 1869-70 James paid 2 pence an acre on 180 acres – totalling 1 10/-. From 1866 to 1870 he was member of the Cambridge Road Board and by 1869 James was farming 180 acres and tendering for contracting work as well.  He is also noted in 1872 on a farm  map drawn by Charles Chitty in a report on the district to the Armed Constabulary Commissioner's Office.

James was a member of the Cambridge Cavalry Volunteers from 1872 to 1880 and in January 1877 became Collector of Rates for the Cambridge North Highway District.

He bred prize-winning Lincoln sheep having 33 in 1880 and 82 in 1886. He was a member of the Waikato Farmers' Club and Waikato Fruit Growers' Association as well as chairman of the Waikato Horticultural Society and later president of the Cambridge Farmers' Club.  He was a Justice of the Peace in 1897 and in 1906 took a trip 'home' finding the English people very conservative and slow to make themselves acquainted with new ideas and modern methods of agriculture.

In May 1910 he employed Fred Potts to build him a house on the corner of Forrest and Hamilton Roads  (see bottom pic) having lived in their previous house for 44 years. James died 24 November 1914, Sarah 14 August 1922.   


Their 11 children were:

Charlotte Sarah, born 22.8.1861 died 1892 unmarried.

Archibald James, born 28.4.1863  died 23.8.1940 married Sophie Vincent  8 children.

Arthur Henry, born 16.8.1865 died 17.8.1942 unmarried.

Emma Hautapu, born 25.8.1867 died 1954  married Alex Andrew  4 children.

Alice, born 18.6.1869 died 1955 married Edward Eves 8 children.

Eleanore Mary (Nellie), born 1871  died 1958  married Charles Keeley 2 sons.

Edith Gertrude, born 1873 died ??? married Bill Denize 6 children.

Lucy Matilda, born 21.9.1874 died 1942 married Ernest Goldsbury 5 children.

Lily, born 19.7.1876 died 18.11.1962 married Walter Smerdon, no family.

Rosaline Agnes, born 18.2.1878 died 29.4.1950 married Reuben Crawshaw 5 children.

Grace Emily born 26.1.1880 died 16.9.1964 married Ezro Brockelsby 4 children.


James and Sarah's Headstone                                                   Back